“Be humble, very humble, my children. Let us learn to be humble. We need prudence to protect our Love. We must keep a careful watch and not be overcome by fear. Many of the classical spiritual authors compare the devil to a mad dog tied down by a chain. If we don’t go near him, he cannot bite us, no matter how much he barks. If you foster humility in your souls, you will certainly avoid the occasions of sin, and you will react by having the courage to run away from them. You will have daily recourse to the help that comes from Heaven, and will make lively progress along this path of true love.” (St. Josemaria Escriva) I love the second sentence in that quote from Saint Josemaria Escriva, Let us learn to be humble.” Humility is to be learned. And to learn we must study and practice. This post is part of my 31 Days series on Bible quotes.
Bible Quotes: Humility in the Bible
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To study humility, we need a teacher. Our Lord tells us in Matthew 11:29 to learn of Him because He is gentle and humble of heart. And what do we learn from our Lord in His humility? Well, we learn to keep our mouth shut, even when wrongly accused. (Isaiah 53:7 and Acts 8:32) That’s a hard one. We live in an age where we can comment at will and whim…sometimes even anonymously, which tosses any remnant of humility right out the proverbial window. People would be more humble if they just didn’t feel like they “had” to respond. Pride makes us want to explain ourselves, defend ourselves, assert ourselves even hear ourselves. If we wish to be humble, we must practice silence.
Saint Augustine states, “Humility is the foundation of all the virtues; therefore, in a soul where it does not exist there can be no true virtue, but the mere appearance only. In like manner, it is the most proper disposition for all celestial gifts. And, finally, it is so necessary to perfection, that of all the ways to reach it, the first is humility; the second, humility; the third, humility. And if the question were repeated a hundred times, I should always give the same answer.”
And Saint Thomas Villanova, “Humility is the mother of many virtues. From it spring obedience, holy fear, reverence, patience, modesty, mildness, and peace; for, whoever is humble easily obeys all, fears to offend any, maintains peace with all, shows himself affable to all, is submissive to all, does not offend or displease any, and does not feel the insults which may be inflicted upon him. He lives happy and contented, and in great peace.”
If we are lacking patience, reverence and peace, instead of praying for those, we should be praying for the necessary graces to learn humility…and the strength. I cannot image the enemy likes to hear a soul pray for the virtue of humility. In addition to asking for the virtue of humility, we need the strength to become humble and to resist the attacks of the devil.
Speaking of praying for the virtue of humility, are you familiar with the “Litany of Humility?” It is a beautiful prayer. Some are hesitant to begin praying it, because, well, we’re prideful and praying for humility may cause us some discomfort. Might I suggest slowly, slowly becoming familiar the prayer through song? There are two lovely versions. As our hearts and mind become accustomed the words of the prayer, maybe it will be easier to begin actually praying the prayer…and meaning it.
Here’s your free printable…Bible Quotes about Humility
Bible Quotes Resources
My large print Bible
(This is my go-to Bible. It’s large print and just feels nice in my hands.)
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament
(I use this Bible when I’m looking for some more information about the text.)
The Catholic Bible Concordance for the Revised Standard Version
(You want to know where a word is in the Bible? This is the book for you!)
The Great Commentary of Cornelius A’ Lapide
(I use this commentary for more information as well.)
A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture
(I like this commentary because it also has reflections and applications.)